Donald Trump’s predilection for tasteless hyperbole continues unabated. We are now treated to the grossly inappropriate, triumphalist phrase “mission accomplished”.
On a prior occasion, this was meant to convince us that the Iraqi conflagration had come to an end, when nothing of the sort had happened as history tragically informs us. In that context, nothing changes.
Now, and irrespective of how many missiles actually reached their targets, al Assad remains in power propped up, primarily, by democracy-averse Russia and Iran, aided and abetted by Hezbollah proxies lurking to the north of Israel.
The justifying scenario runs something like this: “degrading” a weapons platform was successful, UK Prime Minister Theresa May explained on Saturday, thereby suggesting a positive humanitarian outcome from this “mission”, that being the intended rationale. This emphatically does not mean eradicating it; there is a high likelihood that Syria still has a viable chemical weapons option, and that these weapons may well be used again, despite US ambassador Nikki Haley’s theatrical UN Security Council “locked and loaded” warning to the Syrian leadership. This, no doubt with a guarantee that another chemical atrocity will result in a Damoclean outcome for the perpetrators. But not we trust for al Assad, Putin, or the Iranian Ayatollahs.